We mention safety in the home a lot, this is because it is the place we raise our families and spend a great deal of our time. One area of the home that should be checked periodically is the staircase. Why do we say that? Sadly, because many accidents in the home happen on or around a staircase. Special attention should be given if there are small children, elderly or handicapped people living in the home. Here are a few areas that require periodic maintenance:
Firstly, any stairs in the home should be up to code. Bannister's should not be situated so far apart that a child could get their heads stuck. Also, to prevent them from being a tripping hazard, stairs should be of equal height. Although whomever constructed the home should have followed proper building codes, it is still a good idea to check.
Check the handrail and carpeting, if any, for signs that they may have become loose.
If you have wooden stairs, do not over polish them as this could become treacherous for anyone going up or down them in socks.
Good lighting on or around a staircase is very important, especially if there are elderly or others in the home with failing eyesight.
Have a check of exterior stairs as well as interior. Its important for exterior stairs to have the correct amount of slope so that any water does not pool on them. This could be lethal in the winter time.
While these checks might not take too much of your time, they will help to ensure fewer accidents on or around the staircase.
Dave Graham, Tempest Home Inspection. Calgary Alberta